Assessment and Strengthening Programme (ASP)

Introduction

The Assessment and Strengthening Program – Rural Support Programmes Network (ASP-RSPN) is a five-year program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The primary objective of the ASP is to assess the capacity needs of public sector institutions and local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). ASP builds the institutional capacity of local organizations thereby providing USAID Pakistan a mechanism to work with a myriad of stakeholders, local implementing partners and Government of Pakistan (GoP) institutions in an efficient and responsible manner. The approach adopted by ASP is to identify, address and validate the institutional capacity weaknesses of local organizations.

The strategic objective of the ASP is to “Enable local organizations to be more transparent, accountable and effective.” ASP supports the Pakistani Public Sector and Civil Society institutions build their institutional capacity in the areas of financial management, human resource management, monitoring & evaluation, procurement management, internal controls mechanism. ASP has partnered with a number of strategic federal and provincial level government institutions, including Auditor General of Pakistan, Federal Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), Provincial PPRAs of KP, Sindh and Balochistan, Finance Department KP, Planning & Development department Sindh, Education department Sindh, SMEDA, Secretariat Training Institute and Internal Audit in KP. Some of the specific support activities include:

  • ASP-RSPN is providing support to the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) – in developing a Strategic Plan for effective service delivery.
  • ASP-RSPN has developed a Public Financial Management Assessment Framework for the Federal and Provincial Government to assess the efficacy of the governance functions and processes.
  • Supporting the federal Public Procurement Regulatory Authority update the procurement rules & regulations, build an ERP system for the authority and develop a Learning Management System (LMS)
  • For effective utilization of public resources, ASP is providing support to the Finance Department of the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (GoKP) in institutionalizing the Internal Audit System of the province.
  • Policy recommendations made to the Planning Commission of Pakistan in order to enhance the Development Projects’ design, implementation and approval process.
  • Policy recommendations made to the Ministry of Finance for improvement in the Revolving Funds Account (Assignment Account).
  • ASP-RSPN partnered with the premier institute for Public Policy in Pakistan – The National School of Public Policy.
  • ASP-RSPN conducted the Third Party Validation (TPV) of the flood victims data in 80 districts under the Citizen’s Damage Compensation Program (CDCP) of the Government of Pakistan.
  • Supporting the establishment of robust Public Procurement Regulatory Authorities (PPRAs) in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
  • ASP-RSPN is supporting the Secretariat Training Institute in revision and updation of the curriculum. In addition, a dedicated ERP system is being developed to automate the institute’s processes.

Components

Pre-Award Assessment is a mechanism to assess the capacities of an organization in terms of governance, policies and procedures. Under the ASP the pre-award assessment will focus on policies, procedures and structures relating to Control Environment, Financial Management and Accounting, Procurement Management Systems, Personnel Policies and Payroll Systems, Monitoring & Evaluation and Absorptive Capacity.

USAID will identify organizations from the government, civil society and private sector for pre-award assessment. These organizations will include the ones which will be receiving development funds for implementations. The pre-award assessment will identify organization specific capacity gaps in the above mentioned areas. Based on these gaps a capacity building plan will be prepared. It also includes a review of the organization’s Host Country Contracting capabilities, capacity to implement fixed amount reimbursement agreements, organization’s absorptive capacity and funds flow methodology analysis.

Process

Preparation of the Capacity Building Plan

The Capacity Building plan developed under ASP-RSPN and ASP-AiD will be customized and vary from institution to institution and will be specific to recipient organizations’ requirements. However, LUMS will be conducting standard training in specialized areas, such as, Procurement, Financial Management, Administration, HR and M&E.

Approval of the Capacity Building Plan from USAID

The Capacity Building Plan prepared by ASP-RSPN and ASP-AiD will be shared with USAID for its formal approval, before commencing the implementation of Capacity Building activities in/with the recipient organizations.

Implementation of the Capacity Building Plan

The implementation of capacity building plan includes various areas, such as, development of policies and procedures manuals, reforming the organization structure to improve segregation of duties, development of internal control procedures, improving human resource capacity, strengthening financial and accounting systems, improving financial management capability, improving procurement systems, developing M&E systems, administrative and support function development.

Objective

Validation is a process of evaluating whether the organization, that has undergone capacity building, is in compliance with the standards and procedures developed under the capacity building plan/program. Validation is a continuous process and ensures that the improvements introduced through the capacity building plan/program are being implemented in the organization. ASP’s Validation component focuses upon three specific objectives: Firstly, ensuring continued compliance with standards and procedures identified by the USAID and ASP. Secondly, it refers to CSOs, For-Profits and GOP organizations for further capacity building if gaps are identified. Thirdly, it develops benchmarks for improvement through conducting periodic validations. Validation is also referred to as re-assessment.

Process

USAID identifies its relevant implementing partners involved in the implementation of USAID funds and receiving assistance for conducting validation at regular intervals. ASP-RSPN has to maintain a roster for annual validation of the identified organizations in the government, CSOs and the private sector. The independence of validation is ensured by engaging a RIG-approved Chartered Accountant firm for carrying out the re-assessment exercise. The final validation report is shared with the targeted organization. After incorporating their management comments on the findings, the final report is submitted to USAID.

The Research component is focused towards the institutional aspects of local organizations like Financial Management, Procurement Management, Administrative Management and Monitoring & Evaluation. It will also try to identify possible reforms, amendments and restructuring especially in the backdrop of the 18th Amendment. A ‘Research to Policy’ perspective will be kept in mind as a guiding principle. Policies & Procedures will receive attention including preparation and improvement of manuals and system documents. The Research Agenda also aims to develop a directory of capacity building programs and related institutions. Promoting building bricks for institutional development will receive priority.

A team of experts at ASP will be designated to identify key research areas in government and non-government sectors and bring on board people with extensive experience from various sectors of Government, financial & administrative systems, Public-Private partnerships. The research developed would be shared in the experience sharing workshops with all the stakeholders including Government, Civil Society and other relevant entities.

The purpose of the awardees capacity building is to target project staff as well as partner organizations under the ASP i.e. RSPN and NRSP, to have a holistic and relevant capacity building program. The areas identified for capacity building include Governance, Financial Management Systems, Procurement Management, MIS Systems and Capacity Development of RSPN, NRSP, ASP CPO & PPOs. Gender mainstreaming, anti-sexual harassment policy and code of conduct at the work place have been accorded due priority as well.

ASP-RSPN after the detailed needs assessment of RSPN and NRSP identified the areas with gaps which require upgradation, ranging from capacity enhancement of staff to complete working systems’ updation like Accounting Systems, Operational manuals, IT infrastructure, ERP systems implementation etc. Also the Central & Provincial Program offices staff have been trained at provincial and federal levels in government systems related to accounting & finance, budgetary procedures, processes related to development projects, PPRA/PIFRA rules, as well as the USAID rules/regulations. 2nd-Phase of the Capacity Development of RSPN has also been approved by USAID. This includes development of M&E and Grants Management Manual, development of M&E MIS and training of core staff members on Project Management Professional (PMP).

Projects

USAID will identify organizations from the government, civil society and private sector for pre-award assessment. These organizations will include the ones which will be receiving development funds for implementations. The pre-award assessment will identify organization specific capacity gaps in the above mentioned areas. Based on these gaps a capacity building plan will be prepared. It also includes a review of the organization’s Host Country Contracting capabilities, capacity to implement fixed amount reimbursement agreements, organization’s absorptive capacity and funds flow methodology analysis.

View All Projects

Media Clips

News clips on Pakistan Television Network (PTV)

ASP-RSPN’s assistance to Public Procurement Regulatory Authorities (PPRAs)s

September 02, 2013

April 01, 2013

News, updates and Resources-15th Edition
News, updates and Resources-15th Edition

News, updates and Resources-15th Edition

Read More
News, updates and Resources-14th Edition
News, updates and Resources-14th Edition

News, updates and Resources-14th Edition

Read More
News, updates and Resources-13th Edition
News, updates and Resources-13th Edition

News, updates and Resources-13th Edition

Read More
News, updates and Resources-12th Edition
News, updates and Resources-12th Edition

News, updates and Resources-12th Edition

Read More
News, updates and Resources-11th Edition
News, updates and Resources-11th Edition

News, updates and Resources-11th Edition

Read More
News, updates and Resources-10th Edition
News, updates and Resources-10th Edition

News, updates and Resources-10th Edition

Read More
News, updates and Resources-9th Edition
News, updates and Resources-9th Edition

News, updates and Resources-9th Edition

Read More
News, updates and Resources-8th Edition
News, updates and Resources-8th Edition

News, updates and Resources-8th Edition

Read More
News, updates and Resources-7th Edition
News, updates and Resources-7th Edition

News, updates and Resources-7th Edition

Read More
News, updates and Resources-6th Edition
News, updates and Resources-6th Edition

News, updates and Resources-6th Edition

Read More
News, updates and Resources-5th Edition
News, updates and Resources-5th Edition

News, updates and Resources-5th Edition

Read More
News, updates and Resources-4th Edition
News, updates and Resources-4th Edition

News, updates and Resources-4th Edition

Read More
News, updates and Resources-3rd Edition
News, updates and Resources-3rd Edition

News, updates and Resources-3rd Edition

Read More
News, updates and Resources-2nd Edition
News, updates and Resources-2nd Edition

News, updates and Resources-2nd Edition

Read More
News, updates and Resources-1st Edition
News, updates and Resources-1st Edition

News, updates and Resources-1st Edition

Read More
Newsletter Jan-Mar 2014
Newsletter Jan-Mar 2014

Newsletter Jan-Mar 2014

Read More
Newsletter Apr-Jun 2014
Newsletter Apr-Jun 2014

Newsletter Apr-Jun 2014

Read More
Newsletter Oct-Dec 2013
Newsletter Oct-Dec 2013

Newsletter Oct-Dec 2013

Read More
Newsletter Apr-Jun 2014
Newsletter Apr-Jun 2014

Newsletter Apr-Jun 2014

Read More
Newsletter
Newsletter

Newsletter

Read More

© Rural Support Programmes Network. All Rights Reserved | Designed By Web Wide Media